Sunday, March 18, 2018

Trademarked franchise brands get protected aggressively, and this affects decisions of a lot of small business owners

Will businesses that use names similar to those of established franchises (like the same first word or number) face trademark infringement suits?
It’s interesting that so many of the major retail marks are indeed franchises owned by public companies, which have a fiduciary responsibility toward shareholders.  So they must protect their marks even in situations that may sound silly. 
The use of franchise brands has a major impact on decisions that small business owners make.  Often they feel pressured to work with a major brand franchise than work on their own.  It strikes me that immigrants are often very good at managing franchises as they have learned these skills in their home countries through their families.

The brands can even matter in the media, with televisions shows (which are usually "series" and qualify as franchises) and movie sequels. 

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Blackberry sues Facebook over patents underlying Messenger

BlackBerry, which we haven’t heard as much about (Research in Motion) recently, since Obama gave up his in 2009 (I switched over to Droid in 2010 and eventually iPhone), is suing Facebook for patent infringement over several features in Facebook messenger.  Timothy B. Lee explains the cross litigation in Ars Technica.  Lee describes this as “weaponizing instant messaging patents”.

These patents sound more "valid" than some others that get trolled. but some of them still sound largely conceptual, like the "icons with numeric badges". 
My own iPhone has a button for Messages and for Facebook Messenger, two separate apps.